Lawsuit filed over ownership of Tuskegee town square

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 1:22 PM CDT
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MACON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - A lawsuit has been filed against the Tuskegee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Alabama Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy regarding the Tuskegee town square, which is where the Confederate statue is located.

Anthony Lee along with the Macon County Commission, are the plaintiffs, attorney Fred Gray said. The county says the property belongs to them and wants title to the land.

The lawsuit has been in the works since October 2015.

The statue, owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, has been targeted on multiple occasions in the majority-Black city with detractors saying it’s a symbol of slavery that needs to be removed.

Sitting Tuskegee City Councilman and former longtime mayor Johnny Ford made headlines in July when he and another man used an electric saw to damage the monument. No charges have ever been filed in connection to the incident, though Ford has publicly welcomed them.

The city had obtained several determinations that the statue’s damage made it unsafe, but the United Daughters of the Confederacy had the piece repaired in mid-August.

Tuskegee’s city attorney Milton Davis also presented research in August showing the square is in the possession of Macon County. The city also has a limited deed on the parking lot where the statue sits and is working to gain full ownership, Mayor Lawrence Haygood has said.

Gray said they have been trying to find out who the members of the Tuskegee chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy are. Only one member has been located, who resides in Elba. Leaders are asking anyone that is a part of the Tuskegee chapter to come out and contact them.

The county says it is will to negotiate with the Daughters of the Confederacy. If someone comes forward, they could settle and give the Daughters of the Confederacy the statue.

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